Northern Mexico most dangerous place in country for journalists; prosecution slow and ineffecual

The Mexican Attorney General's (PGR in Spanish) special prosecutor Gustavo Salas Chávez said more journalists were killed in Northern Mexico than anywhere else in the country, according to the newspaper Vanguardia. Since 2000, 76 journalists have been killed and 13 disappeared in Mexico, reported the agency EFE. Statistically, 50 percent, or 38 killings, took place in the northern states of Chihuahua, Guerrero and Tamaulipas; 11 (14 percent) in the center of the country, and 27 (36 percent) in the south.

Special prosecutor Salas warned that drug traffickers and organized crime threaten and pressure the media and journalists. Salas added that criminal proceedings against 40 suspects, mostly public servants from the three branches of government, had begun for abuse of power, threats, aggravated assault, robbery, aggravated damage to property, and attempted murder, reported Vanguardia.

The prosecutor said that while some efforts have been made to defend public liberties, they have so far been done without the desired speed, agility and efficacy, noted La Crónica de Hoy.

With 19 journalists killed so far this year, 2011 has been the most tragic year yet for the Latin American press. Mexico took the unfortunate honor ofmost dangerous country for journalists in the region.

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